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Category: Funny Narrative Poems
       Classic humorous and funny story poems. Narrative poems are written accounts of connected events in poetry format.

  THE GOUTY MERCHANT AND THE STRANGER  

In Broad Street Buildings on a winter night,
Snug by his parlor-fire a gouty wight
Sat all alone, with one hand rubbing
His feet, rolled up in fleecy hose:
While t'other held beneath his nose
The Public Ledger, in whose columns grubbing,
    He noted all the sales of hops,
    Ships, shops, and slops;
Gum, galls, and groceries; ginger, gin,
Tar, tallow, turmeric, turpentine, and tin;
When lo! a decent personage in black
Entered and most politely said:
"Your footman, sir, has gone his nightly track
    To the King's Head,
And left your door ajar; which I
Observed in passing by,
    And thought it neighborly to give you notice."
"Ten thousand thanks; how very few get,
In time of danger,
Such kind attentions from a stranger!
Assuredly, that fellow's throat is
Doomed to a final drop at Newgate:
He knows, too (the unconscionable elf!),
That there's no soul at home except myself."
"Indeed," replied the stranger (looking grave),
"Then he's a double knave;
He knows that rogues and thieves by scores
Nightly beset unguarded doors:
And see, how easily might one
    Of these domestic foes,
    Even beneath your very nose,
Perform his knavish tricks;
Enter your room, as I have done,
Blow out your candles--thus--and thus--
Pocket your silver candlesticks,
    And--walk off--thus!"--
So said, so done; he made no more remark
    Nor waited for replies,
    But marched off with his prize,
Leaving the gouty merchant in the dark.

                                                Horace Smith.


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